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UBS Next Invests in Estate Planning Platform

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What You Need to Know

  • The investment is the latest by UBS Next, the wirehouse’s fintech initiative launched in October 2020.
  • Before Trust & Will, UBS Next invested in blockchain tech firm ConsenSys and digital wealth platform Endowus.com.
  • UBS declined to say how much it invested in Trust & Will but plans invest $200 million overall in digital ventures.

UBS Next has invested in San Diego-based Trust & Will, which operates a digital estate planning platform, UBS said Monday.

The investment is the latest by UBS Next, the wirehouse’s fintech initiative launched in October 2020, in areas that have included distributed ledger technology and digital wealth management so far, UBS pointed out.

Prior to Trust & Will, UBS Next invested in Brooklyn, New York-based ConsenSys, a developer of Ethereum-based blockchain technology, announced in April, and Singapore-based Endowus, operator of a digital wealth platform, announced in July. Samsung Ventures was among the other firms that invested in Endowus.

UBS declined to say how much of an investment it made in Trust & Will. In announcing UBS Next in 2020, the wirehouse said it planned to invest $200 million overall in digital ventures.

UBS Next is being funded exclusively by UBS and is managed by a dedicated tech venture investment team with “market-proven capital expertise,” the wirehouse said in 2020. That team is part of the firm’s central Chief Digital and Information Office and the $200 million investment is expected to be made on a medium-term basis, it added.

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“Trust & Will’s platform helps to further digitalize and personalize an increasingly important aspect of wealth management: estate planning,” Mike Dargan, UBS Group chief digital and information officer, said in the announcement. “With this investment, we are exploring services beyond banking where we can partner to deliver real value for our firm.”

Trust & Will’s platform provides a simple, quick and secure way to set up trusts, wills and guardianships online in the U.S., according to UBS. “The company’s platform modernizes estate planning with a design-first approach, layered on top of customer support that helps families customize documents to meet their needs, while ensuring they adhere to individual state guidelines,” the wirehouse said.

UBS Next enables the wirehouse to “engage with fintech companies, accelerate innovation efforts, and shape the future of banking for the benefit of UBS clients,” it said.

The investment platform mainly pursues minority, direct investments into early stage (series A and series B) fintech and technology companies with strategic and financial relevance (such as direct business or client impact or catalyst for platform/process improvements), it added.

(Photo: Shutterstock)